[Update: Fixed in iOS 14.5] iPhone 12 series fluctuating brightness or dim screen issue reported by some, but we have workarounds

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on April 10, 2021) follows:

Several users are facing screen brightness issues on their iPhone 12 series device. Reports state that the display gets too dim sometimes or even fluctuates in terms of brightness on its own.

Judging by complaints, the issue plagues almost every iPhone 12 series model including the iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and the iPhone 12 mini. Some of these have been given below:


I have the iPhone 12 Pro Max and it constantly dims. I made sure the automatic button was off, it still dims. I went to answer the phone and it had dimmed itself down to an almost completely dark screen. I am constantly having to reset the brightness back to where I can see the screen. Any “bright” ideas?

Anyone got an iPhone 12 Pro and experienced the screen brightness changing, even though auto-brightness is switched off?

Users also observed that the issue is much more noticeable when the screen brightness is at max. The brightness drops randomly for no apparent reason. But if the screen is locked and then unlocked again, the brightness returns to its original levels.

Nonetheless, if your iPhone 12 screen keeps dimming or fluctuating in brightness when you’re out in the sun, then it is highly likely that overheating is the one to blame.

It appears that the iPhone 12s have a safety mechanism of sorts to bring temperatures under control by dimming the screen automatically. This little function only makes things worse for users as sunlight legibility takes a hit further.


There may be no definitive solution for the heat-induced screen dimming, but you can always try cooling down your iPhone using water or maybe keeping it in a cool, shady environment for a while.

Heating is pretty normal under direct sunlight. However, if your device gets abnormally hot even when not in the sun then it is time to get it checked up. You can also try the possible solutions in our past coverage regarding iPhone 12 series overheating issues.

Nonetheless, we have curated a list of workarounds that may help ease the problem.

Workarounds for the iPhone 12 series fluctuating brightness/dim screen issue

1. Turn off auto-brightness: If your brightness levels keep fluctuating all the time, then you might want to ensure that auto-brightness is off if you haven’t already. This can be done through Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size > Auto-Brightness.

2. Turn off Reduce White Point: Additionally, you might also want to turn off “Reduce White Point” which is also under the same menu. This feature helps reduce the intensity of bright colors to make the screen insipid and easier on the eyes.

You can turn it off via Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size > Reduce White Point.

3. Turn off Display Zoom: Several users also observed that turning off display zoom solved the fluctuating screen brightness issue for some reason. You can do the same from Settings > Display & Brightness > Display Zoom.


4. Restart device: If nothing else seems to help, then you might want to reboot your iPhone. Some users reported that this resolves the issue for them temporarily.

That said, it is worth mentioning here that the iPhone 12 series is no stranger to display problems. The phones have a pretty widespread display tinting issue combined with screen flickering.

Anyway, we will continue tracking this issue so you want to stay tuned to our dedicated iPhone 12 series bugs/issues tracker.

Update (April 27)

With the release of iOS 14.5 update, Apple says it has addressed the dimming issue on iPhone 12 series through software optimizations. Details here.

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Zohaib Ahmed

Simply love being surrounded by technology as it's a constant reminder of how far humans have advanced as a race. Every new development feels exciting, which I convey to others through writing. And after a day's work, gaming just feels therapeutic.